Garage Sale Find & Giveaway
Much to my fella’s chagrin, I brake for garage sales. He’s not usually with me but he still rolls his eyes when I bring stuff home. It’s okay, I know how to ignore that.
The other day I stopped by a very junky looking sale with a ton of stuff all over the yard and driveway. I scored some random Legos for my grand boy for 25 cents, and bought the topic for today: A vintage sewing box full of sewing stuff.
It was dirty, as if it had been stored in a garage for years. No sign of mice (even I have limits) so when I saw the price tag, I didn’t bat an eye.
Some people wouldn’t see the value in a vintage sewing box, but those people wouldn’t be me. I thought it was a steal. Opening it up to check out the contents was great fun.
Does this bring back memories? I made garments before I made quilts. In the 70s and 80s, you could save money by making your own clothes, and that’s what I did.
I love vintage rickrack. Lots left here.
Plenty of cheap polyester thread in a hundred colors went into the rubbish.
Several usable new zippers plus this one, removed from something to be used again. I take this as a clue that the sewing basket’s owner was likely a child of the Depression. I appreciate her frugality but am happy that I don’t have to remove zippers before I donate. Now buttons…that’s another story.
What is it about cloth tape measures? This one is satiny to evoke thoughts of undergarments, asking pointedly, “Is your figure as good as Bali can make it?” (I don’t know but I’d sure let them have a shot.)
And these. THESE! My mother had electric scissors; did yours too?! They were all the rage but I don’t know that they ever proved to be useful. Way too zippy to cut out garments, very hard to control, and that bzz-zzz-bzzz-bzzing?!? Yikes. These still work so I’m going to try them on batting.
And from TG&Y (mom said it stood for toys, guns and yo-yos), an unused sheet of HOOKS, EYES & LOOPS. Because, you know, you needed to shout that. The laundry must have been harsh in those days so you had to be sure and get the LAUNDRYPROOF kind.
Many unopened packages of Wrights Flexi-Lace Seam Binding, which I have no idea how you’d use, but I’m keeping it because you never know when I’ll need hot pink FUSCHIA lace which is “like pretty underwear.” That’s the most racy thing I’ve ever written on a quilting blog, to be sure.
Almost forgot about these! I don’t know what you called them, but they held up your nylon stockings. I used them a few times in the 70s before pantyhose arrived. Did women make their own garter belts? Why were these in the sewing box?
Several other useful items: cool red-handled vintage tracing wheel, a Tupperware orange peeler thingy, tiny aqua Singer screwdriver, and a hem gauge. Maybe this person snacked on oranges, or maybe the yellow doodad was great for poking out corners. I’m not judging because hey, if I died and somebody puts the contents of my sewing space on the internet…holy smoke. I’m not judging.
Now here’s a mystery. What is this plastic thing? It’s a couple of inches long, about 5/8″ wide. Two slits at one end. I don’t have any idea,
but if you know and are the first to leave a comment and explain it, I’ll send you a pile of great quilt patterns and magazines and even some fat quarters. What in the world is this doodad? ETA: Three winners revealed that the blue notion is a bodkin, used to thread elastic through a casing. Marilyn Logan, Kay Neidig MacLaren and Diane Paul will receive little bundles of quilt happiness soon!
And then there’s this:
It’s the Holy Grail of all sewing baskets: The vintage tomato pincushion! I love these so much. I have a whole collection. I’ve taken to leaving all the pins and needles just as the owner had them. Her legacy lives on.
Vintage Sewing Basket: 75 cents
Quilter’s Entertainment Value: Priceless
Tags: garage sale, notions, pincushions, vintage
The mystery tool is used to thread elastic through a casing. I have some in three different widths. You found a treasure trove for sure. So much fun!
Tried to post this earlier but had problems. Here’s my answer. The item is an elastic pull. It is used to pull elastic through casings. I’m not sure I have the correct name but the use is right. You thread the elastic through the 2 slits and then push it through a casing. I find a big safety pin easier to use.
What a great treasure and for only 75Cents!!!
I think your mystery tool is an elastic threader for inserting elastic through a casing. An end of the elastic is brought up in one slit and back down in the other. The elastic can then be threaded more easily through a casing in garments. See photo here: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HUXu69qpHiI/UHnupFcU5xI/AAAAAAAAFLg/AKQI1OAIhCg/s1600/et+Collage.jpg
Sure beats using over-sized safety pins as I did in my early days of garment sewing.
Is it to thread elastic when sewing clothes?
I’m guessing you’ve probably heard from many sewists by now, but I checked with my neighbor, the best seamstress I know, and she tells me it is a bodkin. Those slots are for inserting elastic to pull through a waist-band, for example. (I’m not explaining that very well–sorry.) It’s similar to the way you would pull a drawstring for sweatpants, but apparently using elastic in waistbands was a huge deal back then.
Mary says it’s a needle for a rag rug.
Finally found them on a website and they are called elastic threaders https://www.amazon.com/Dritz-9300-Elastic-Threaders/dp/B0060LDMTE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1499865538&sr=8-2&keywords=elastic+puller
I saw a hint recently suggesting the tracing wheel makes nice dots to follow when free motion quilting. The lemon peeler could be used like a hera marker?? I still use my hem marker.
Sounds like an idea that would be worth a try! Thanks!
My mom says it is called a Wefty and is a needle used for fabric weaving. She is sure that is what it is…has anyone else guessed correctly yet?
Numerous others said it’s like a bodkin used for threading elastic. Fabric weaving would be an interesting alternative!
I just found your website and blog… I love this kind of finds…